Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas in a wired world: Playing with our food and online delights and diversions that will have you saying, "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

I don't know about your Christmas celebration, but this year ours was definitely altered by the World Wide Web -- and not because of online shopping.

When you have a house full of people with digital cameras, blogs, and MySpace and Facebook memberships; and when even the least plugged-in folks at the dinner table use e-mail to stay in touch with friends and relatives, it's unlikely you'll have time to sneak off to someone's home office and spend a little time blogging. It's also very unlikely you'll be bored because almost everyone who's not washing dishes plops in front of the television after dinner to watch something utterly banal and predictable.

No, you'll be too busy swapping tech tips and taking photos (and promising to download them a.s.a.p. and send copies via e-mail so people can post them on their blog or MySpace site).

And when (1) you have a professional chef in the family and (2) he's prepared a fabulous Christmas dinner, and (3) almost everyone present has a sophisticated palate and a digital camera, you may well discover, as we did, that after saying Grace, everyone seems to be playing with his or her food. But you'd be mistaken. Everyone was just styling their plate, arranging their food before the inevitable photo shoot. Photos of our Christmas dinner will probably be appearing soon in cyberspace.

So while I had a list of terrific suggestions about how to wile away some time on Christmas Day, I didn't have time to blog. Tonight, as I'm watching the 29th Annual Kennedy Center Honors awards ceremony on television, I'm catching up on my blogging -- and belatedly offering my list of too fun to miss goofy Christmas treats and mischief.

Sure you can buy an elf costume, but where are you going to wear it? To the office party? To your class reunion? I think not. Better to don it in cyberspace. Check out the Elf Yourself site. Make yourself a dancing elf -- or better yet, transform someone you love (or not) into a dancing elf. Then e-mail a link to your creation to someone (or everyone) in your address book. And unlike the somewhat pricey costume, Elfamorphosis is free!

After you elf yourself (and your boss, your kid sister, and Aunt Hettie), enjoy the video of kids opening Christmas presents and screaming with complete and utter joy at N64Kids.com and check out the Scared of Santa Gallery posted by the Sun Sentinel newspaper in South Florida.

Many thanks to the folks at PhotoJoJo for their Christmas morning e-mail offering these delights and diversions intended to help people "Chase away those XMAS Afternoon Doldrums with a Photograph and Telephone." We didn't have time to play with these cyber toys on Christmas Day, but we've certainly been having fun with them today!

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